David Cameron, the new prime minister of the United Kingdom, is promoting the Big Society Network to help empower citizens to affect change. The aim is to harness the energy of individuals and to create new relationships between citizens and government that focus on actions rather than top-down policy. This initiative aims to harness the work of existing organizations, and to apply the technology of social media to create stronger connections.
Mapping certainly has a role to play, that’s summed up quite nicely with this quote.
“The minute I heard of Big Society, and the fact that we want people to get involved, and have grass roots organizations extend what they’re doing, mapping immediately came to me as the best way to visualize who’s doing what, where, how and when,” said, Louise Francis with Mapping for Change. “It’s about mapping your own world, and as much about where you are as where you want your community to be, and using mapping document that journey for us to get to our ultimate goals and objectives.”
The mission of Mapping for Change is to support the development of sustainable communities through community engagement and the use of GIS technology. The video of Louise Francis below does a great job of promoting the aims of this organization, and the role of mapping to affect change and to realize greater community involvement.